How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 4

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 4

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 4In the final part of our series on how to evaluate an investment for in premise enterprise mobility, we will look at two further areas where benefit can be generated – improvements in scheduling and income.

 

Then its your turn to get some numbers from your own business and see what impact an investment for in premise enterprise mobility can generate.

Improvements in Scheduling

Typically areas where you can expect improvements in scheduling are in factory utilisation overtime charges and the reduction in special delivery charges.

Savings in these areas are calculated in different ways. For factory or plant utilisation you need to know the gross margin and annual sales of the unit. We assume it is operating at full capacity. Multiply these figures together with the expected improvement in utilsation using in premise mobility.

To estimate the savings from less overtime and fewer special outbound deliveries multiply the current costs in these areas by the expected percentage improvement. Here are some ideas from Coca Cola on improving working hours performance.

For example. Assume your sales are £1,000,000 and your gross margin is 30%. You incur an average of £30,000 in overtime and special shipping charges. If you believe a 15 % improvement is likely in both areas your calculations will look something like this:

Your calculations would look something like:

Factory Utilisation 15% x £1m x 30% = £45,000

Overtime and special delivery charges 10% x £30,000 = £3,000

Total = £48,000

Improvements in Income

Most view enterprise mobility as a cost elimination tool. It can however also help generate income for your business. For example, not many parcel delivery companies would win contracts without the ability to track your parcel door to door.

These benefits are usually intangible but they can add up. Factors such as a sales boost from better customer satisfaction and improved cost data for new sales bids can be entered into your cost justification analysis.

Customer satisfaction – big subject with lots of opinion pieces and research to support why its such a good idea. In summary faster response times more accurate billing, higher quality products can all mean more repeat business and better word of mouth recommendations all of which mean more sales. It works for Zappos why not in your business?

Improvements to the cost of data for bidding is perhaps a less obvious benefit. But where you are building quotations based on up to date data you can minimize over and under bidding. Resulting in better quality quotations and more profitable ones.

Your calculations form either source can be estimated by taking the expected increase in each and multiplying it by the gross margin.

For example if gross margin is 30% and you expect £15,000 in increased sales from better customer satisfaction as well as £10,000 from additional successful bids then your income improvement would look something like:

Customer Satisfaction £15,000 x 30% = £4,500

Winning more bids £10,000 x 30% = £3,000

Total = £7,500

Add It All Up

So you have gathered your data and made your calculations. In our example;

Labour Savings £24,000

Inventory £55,000

Scheduling £48,000

Improve Income £7,500

Total £ 134,500

With in premise enterprise mobility systems costing less than £100,000 these calculations would result in a payback period of less than one year.

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 4Get in touch to book a webinar or visit to see how we can help you make the most of your in premise enterprise mobility project.

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 3

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 3

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 3In our previous two pieces on in premise enterprise mobility we discussed how many companies evaluate a project of this type and how some simple maths models can help us understand the profile of an investment.

Now let’s look at the most common cost savings from an in premise enterprise mobility project and illustrate how to quantify these savings and access the results.

After the cost of your investment has been determined you can start coming up with some projected savings figures.

Labour Savings

Labour savings include direct and indirect. This includes worker time involved in the warehouse and on in the logistics area. Two common areas where savings are found:

  1. More efficient and improved use of time time through technology such as using barcodes to generate invoices for shipments and warehouse locations locations and levels.
  2. Reduce administrative time which covers savings from less in-house paperwork more accuracy fewer keying errors

Labour not involved in production itself also stands to benefit from implementing a system. These areas include: smarter production control, more accurate payroll fewer management meetings and better quality data entry that does not need to be re-keyed.

Inventory Savings

Inventory savings are those other than direct labour costs associated with keeping inventory. For example obsolescence including the cost of unsold inventory due to time, and spoilage. Further rework and scrap costs arise from modifying old inventory.

In either case, to determine cost savings calculate your current annual costs for these subcategories and the expected annual improvement from your enterprise mobility system. Multiply your current costs by the expected improvement to derive annual savings. The current annual cost of these categories should be a statistic known to the business and the expected annual improvement will depend on your current efficiency and nature of your the operation.

Carrying costs refers to the total costs associated with maintaining inventory. These costs include interest taxes and storage. Such costs are generally estimated to range from 25% to 33% of average inventory balances. Use 25%, to come up with an estimate of cost savings.

For example, you currently average £200,000 in excess inventory each year. You also throw out £40,000 in inventory due to obsolescence, and spend another £10,000 on rework and scrap. You determine that a 10% reduction in these two items is reasonable.

Your calculations would look like this:

Obsolescence £4,000 x 10% = £ 4,000

Rework and Scrap £ 1,000 x 10% = £1,000

Carrying Costs £200,000 x 25% = £50,000

Total = £55,000

No matter what your industry improvements can be generated.

Enterprise Mobility

In part 4 we will look at some other areas where savings can be made. Meantime get in touch to learn about how we can help you with your in premise enterprise mobility project.

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 2

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 2

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 2In Part 1 we discussed how some companies go ahead with an in premise enterprise mobility project without measuring and evaluating its financial impact.

In simple terms if a review is undertaken it is a two step process evaluating the cost Vs the potential benefits.

This post is about some very simple maths models.

Payback Period

Not surprisingly this is the length of time needed to generate a return on investment. It is arrived at by dividing the total investment by the expected annual savings. The longer the payback period lasts the less profitable the investment. For example if your in premise enterprise mobility investment cost £100,000 and had an expected yield of £50,000 the period would be £100,000 divided by £50,000 or two years.

Of course the payback period can vary greatly between different companies and is always subjective. It relies on someone being able to access enough information to make the calculation in the first place. How the project is funded can also have an influence. Wiping out an IT budget by doing project A over Project B is ok as long as the knock on consequences of not doing Project B are understood.  And be aware adoption is not such a great ROI measure.

The good news is that it is common for an in premise enterprise mobility project to have have a payback period of less than 24 months.

Net Present Value

Now for some maths! Clearly the cost of an investment is now but the savings are in the future and accrue over time. Net present value helps to answer the question:

Are the savings I expect to recover in the future greater in present terms than the immediate cost of the investment ?

There are dozens of blogs critiques and videos about the concept of present value.

In simple terms to make the calculation you need to know:

  • Cost of Money – Interest/Discount rate
  • Your annual projected savings.
  • How many years the savings will continue.

Here is an example:

  • You make an investment of £1,000 in year 1
  • The interest rate is 10%
  • You make savings of £110 in year 2
  • You make savings of £1,200 in year 3

The NPV of the investment would be:

The year 1 cash flow is -£1,000

The PV of the year 2 cash flow = £110/1.10 = £100

The PV of the year 3 cash flow = £1,200/(1.10^2) = £1,200/1.21 = £991.74

The NPV is: -£1,000 + £100 + £991.74 = £91.74

A positive number means this would make the investment worth undertaking.
Calculating PV can be complicated. Some managers may consider the savings to be able to continue indefinitely which can be an issue worth addressing.

Next time we will go over the areas that can most commonly benefit from an investment in premise enterprise mobility. And illustrate how to quantify them.

Looking for an easier approach check out this calculator from Easycalculation.

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility Part 1

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise MobilityWe talk to many potential clients who are considering in premise enterprise mobility to improve the performance of their business.

It is still a surprise that even in these tough time economic times orgainsations decide to invest in a solution without measuring and evaluating its financial impact.

Figuring out a cost justification is really a two part exercise. Not surprisingly it balances the immediate cost of the investment against the savings you expect in the long run. This post is all about the first stage the next one introduces the maths involved.

What Are The Up Front Costs ?

You will need to determine what sort of in premise enterprise mobility system you will need and what it is likely to cost. For example, if you are going to use it for some sort of inventory control in a yard or warehouse you will no doubt need some sort of rugged Wi-FI enabled device with built in barcode scanning capability. If you are delivering product to a customer by van you may need to specify something with a larger screen WWAN capability mobile printing and a suitable in vehicle docking system.

At this point many projects spend a lot of time compiling scorecards to evaluate one potential offering with another.  Whilst this total cost of ownership TCO phase is a key step the sooner you can get on to measuring potential savings the better. Much has been written about this in the context of Supply Chain Excellence.

Can you Estimate the Savings ?

Total costs can be spread out over time and can include soft costs which can themselves be tough to quantify. However you should reasonably expect to see some improvements in income and savings in labour operational costs and inventory.  For example:

Income

  • Better cost data means better quality bids.
  • Improved customer satisfaction by having better access to data.

Labour

  • Process Improvements and better rostering of tasks.
  • More efficient use of time.
  • Reduce administration time and fewer meetings
  • Reduce the need for data entry.
  • Less overtime.

Inventory and Operations

  • Lower carrying costs.
  • Less scrap or re-work.
  • Fuel.
  • Better Factory and warehouse and vehicle utilization. 

The challenge is coming up with a realistic estimate of the values associated with these areas.

So we have some potential savings where you could reasonably see a positive benefit from doing a project. The next step is to determine if the project is viable and to do this you will need to compare it to the cost of the investment necessary to carry it out.

There are a number of ways to evaluate this but two that are worth beginning with are:

  1. Payback Period
  2. Net Present Value

How to Evaluate an Investment for In Premise Enterprise Mobility

Next time we will go over the calculations necessary to evaluate an in premise enterprise mobility investment using both of these methods.

This involves some scary maths so make sure you have a pencil and a pad of paper handy !

MobileWorxs Named MobileDemand International Partner of the Year

MobileWorxs Named MobileDemand International Partner of the Year

MobileDemand International Partner of the Year
T1200 Rugged Tablet PC with Windows 8

MobileDemand has selected MobileWorxs as International Partner of the Year for 2012. Headquartered in the UK MobileWorxs provides enterprise mobile solutions, applications implementation and support services for the in-field enterprise worker. MobileWorxs is MobileDemand’s go to partner across Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA). With key wins in the UK and throughout Europe MobileWorxs is deserving of this year’s International Partner of the year award.

About MobileDemand

MobileDemand is a leading provider of rugged tablet PC products that have an excellent   Return on Investment ROI proposition when compared to conventional PDA devices. MobileDemand T7200 and T1200 xTablets are used by mobile workers in many industries including Van Sales, Facilities Management, transport and Logisitcs, Surveying, Manufacturing, Retail, Field Service, Military and Public Sector to cut operational costs and improve customer service.

MobileDemand xTablet Rugged Tablet PCs and accessories are built military rugged to withstand harsh environments. They deliver the power, reliable performance and long-term savings companies need to achieve greater efficiency and productivity in the field.

In 2012 MobileDemand earned the position of 1,034 on the 2012 Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. The company has built its success on a commitment to innovation everywhere – in product design, customer relationships and in its channel. President Matt Miller also received recognition as a finalist for the prestigious 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. MobileDemand. Innovation everywhere. Productivity anywhere. Additional information is available at www.RuggedTabletPC.com.

Learn More about Rugged Tablet PC's

We can help you navigate your way through an enterprise mobility project. Get in touch to evaluate a unit or arrange a meeting.

Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200

Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200

Picture from ruggedpcreview.com

Rugged PC Review took a look at at the new MobileDemand xTablet T1200 that was offically introduced in October,. The T1200 is a fully Windows 8 rugged Tablet PC packing an Intel Ivy Bridge i5 chipset for professionals that don’t have the luxury of working in cozy office buildings. This tablet means business and packs a several features mobile users will appreciate.

To continue reading the full review and to see some great analysis of the T1200 please visit Rugged PC Review

Back here at MobileWorxs the xTablet T1200 offers a great return on investment ROI 3 year warranty, WWAN great screen and Intel i5 processor. Lease rates will be competitive get in touch for more details. The versatility of MobileDemand xTablet T1200 makes it ideal for users in any environment considering rugged tablet pc deployments including agriculture transport and logistics, field service, facilities management, van sales, retail supply chain management, manufacturing warehousing and the public sector.

New T1200 will be available in early 2013. Please contact us to pre-register your interest and arrange a demonstration.

 

Andrew Cahill

Andrew Cahill MobileWorxs MD has 20 years of experience in the use of enterprise mobility solutions and applications to improve the performance of real life business processes.

Andrew has worked on some of the largest Enterprise Mobility projects in the UK Eastern Europe the Middle East and Africa. He has user and project experience in helping companies think through and develop mobile strategies to get the most out of a deployment. He also likes old cars preferably with lots of chrome!

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Enterprise Mobile Project Gone Wrong Who You Gonna Call ?

Enterprise Mobile Project Gone Wrong Who You Gonna Call ?

Calling the Fire Brigade May Not Help

We get to speak to a wide variety of organizations some of whom have already tried unsuccessfully to deploy an Enterprise Mobility project.

Reasons can be complex and certainly in some situations management buy in and adequate funding can be issues.

However on too many projects the Return on Investment  ROI calculations go straight out of the window just as the initiative gets difficult. Enterprise mobile project gone wrong ? Here are 5 common problems that we have encountered that may help to explain why this happens.

5 Common Problems

  1. Endless Development – It is very easy especially if you engage an “expert” coding house to end up with an endless cycle of software development. For instance lots of companies who think they are expert in HTML 5 know nothing about using mobile devices in mission critical projects security or host integration.  Key question; have they done this before? if not it can get very costly, complex and time consuming. The resulting app can become technically outdated be difficult to change maintain and upgrade. As this process rolls on hardware is often still sitting in a corner collecting dust.
  2. Difficult to use Development Environments – There are some well marketed “mobile application development environments” out there all claim to be easy to use. The problem is enterprise mobility can get messy. At the very least it needs to map your field based process as well as be reliable and sustainable once deployed. Making some of these environments actually come up with the app you need on the device you want can lead to lots of tinkering which means more budget burnt on professional services.
  3. Lack of Product Documentation – This is something that most people don’t think about until its too late. All of the organizations with failed implementations that we have spoken to this year said that the lack of product documentation how to’s, frequently asked questions, installer guides, etc rendered the already difficult to use development environment or custom cut code useless. All leading to increased time spent and cost incurred when the app should be deployed addressing the business problem that prompted the project in the first place. Key question; look at the user guides a vendor has put together for other customers – can you understand the material?
  4. Hidden Costs – one customer told me he thought that the provider he chose to custom develop his application was going to be the perfect fit affordable, solid, great product vision and support. However, when he needed to make a very simple change to his application he was charged with 40 hours of development time. Key question; ask up front and get the vendor to show you, how easy is it to amend an app and re-deploy it in the field and what is the cost.
  5. “We bought an off the shelf app” – Key question; Great! but does it match your business process or does it offer a transformational way of doing what you might already be doing with pen and paper at the moment? If not be ready to experience the traditional square peg round hole approach where the app can be expensive and inflexible or where the customisation needed to map your processes is eye wateringly expensive.

If any of the above describes your enterprise mobile project gone wrong  I have good news….. MobileWorxs can help! Think of our mobile enterprise application platform  environment as a means to an end. It has a bunch of great features that allow us or our customers to build great enterprise grade apps that will run on .NET Android or iOS and are solid and sustainable. We have experience in a wide variety of application areas such as field service management and facilities management so can help automate and enhance the process workflow of your mobile workers.

Challenge us, we will build your application and demo it to you live on our very first phone call.

Andrew CahillAndrew Cahill MobileWorxs MD has 20 years of experience in the use of enterprise mobility solutions and applications to improve the performance of real life business processes.

Andrew has worked on some of the largest Enterprise Mobility projects in the UK Eastern Europe the Middle East and Africa. He has user and project experience in helping companies think through and develop mobile strategies to get the most out of a deployment.

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Mobile Enterprise Magazine Five Reasons to Choose Rugged Over Consumer Devices

Mobile Enterprise Magazine Five Reasons to Choose Rugged Over Consumer Devices

Guest Blog by By Kelly Harris, Business Development Manager at  Barcoding, Inc.

Rugged 10" tablet PC
Rugged Tablet PC

Consumer and rugged devices serve different purposes and different markets. An article published in Mobile Enterprise magazine cites five reasons to choose rugged over consumer devices and talks about how line of business devices are still preferable for many people in field based industries.

 

First major consideration Windows .NET is a more consistent platform than iOS, Android or Blackberry for long term projects that require task-specific software.

Second, Rugged devices offer ease of use — not just for the end user, but also for security, initial deployment, compliance and ongoing support personnel. Third, calculating Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) reveals that IP65 enabled rugged devices can be much less expensive in the long run. Rugged devices also offer more flexibility in terms of carrier contracts and service pricing

Finally, rugged mobile devices support multiple functions and necessary accessories for a wide range of field tasks and have the long battery life to sustain this all-in-one solution.

 Read the entire article from Mobile Enterprise Magazine

Get in touch to see how we can help you with your enterprise mobility requirements for rugged handhelds a rugged tablet pc or software for mobile application development

Andrew CahillAndrew Cahill MobileWorxs MD has 20 years of experience in the use of enterprise mobility solutions and applications to improve the performance of real life business processes.

Andrew has worked on some of the largest Enterprise Mobility projects in the UK Eastern Europe the Middle East and Africa. He has user and project experience in helping companies think through and develop mobile strategies to get the most out of a deployment.

 Subscribe to our Blog in a reader
Or by Email

 

 

Mobile Printing in Enterprise Mobility Applications

Mobile Printing in Enterprise Mobility Applications

Wireless Mobile Printers come in various guises

When developing a project for your remote workers one consideration is how to incorporate mobile printing in enterprise mobility applications in the first place. Is there a need to print a receipt or report for the customer contact on site? There is a big choice of rugged mobile printers all of which provide different features and most importantly can print the correct label receipt or report you require.

Most people new to the enterprise mobile apps tend to think of having to carry a huge heavy printer. In fact mobile printers can be very small like the Zebra P4T clipping onto a belt or on a shoulder strap. They can also be very large printer fixed to the inside door of a van. It all depends on the size of label receipt you want to print.

One big question to ask is does a receipt or report need to be printed on site? For this scenario think of a civil enforcement officers Fixed Penalty Notice application when the vehicle or person in question must be issued a ticket on the spot. Otherwise if you have the customers email details why not just email a .PDF. In some cases a print at the point of service is not a definite requirement such as for parcel delivery companies who handle all documentation via email or online.

Two main types of Wireless Mobile Printer Technology

Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal.

1. Thermal transfer has two main components. It uses a carbon ribbon, using heat to “transfer” the carbon onto the media (the receipt or label). The results on the printout are much crisper than the Direct Thermal but it does mean costs a greater as you’ll need to buy new ribbons and new media.

2. Direct Thermal printer uses carbon coated receipts/labels, again using heat, but this time to score an image into the media. There is only one major cost for this – buying media. The heated print head does wear out eventually as you’d expect, but it can last the life of the printer is most uses.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. If labels/receipts are required to be hard wearing, scratch resistant, print high quality images i.e. 2D bar codes, long shelf life or in direct sunlight then Thermal Transfer is the best option. If basic layouts need to be printed, stored in plastic wallets or out of sunlight, only required for short periods, then Direct Thermal is the way to go.

Mobile Printing Media

“It all starts with the label…. “There are numerous types of media available – ranging from the very glossy, very hard wearing to the basic till receipts you get at most stores. They are available in almost every size you can think of and can be provided with pre-printed text on one side. Very useful for store return policies or payment details for a parking fine.

Wireless Mobile Printers for Direct Store Delivery and Van Sales

Full Page Rugged Printer

Impact printing is not used a great deal in many enterprise mobility projects other than route accounting or direct store delivery as it is called in some markets. Here the requirement is to print a full page receipt in some cases with multi part paper. Most of the above considerations still ring true – but what to use? An office printer would not be rugged enough. As far as we know Intermec are still building the 6822 a behemoth of a printer but very well suited to this environment.

 

Communication

Communicating with mobile printers is done in one of three ways; Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Direct Cable.

  1. Bluetooth. Ideal for ad-hoc connections in the field, does not rely on anything else, can limited by distance and not considered the most stable connection. But this is the most popular choice for mobile printers.
  2. Wi-Fi. Fast, stable, but does require the device and printer both to be in Wi-Fi signal range.
  3. Cable connection. A direct cable connection from device to printer. This is the most reliable option but also the must inconvenient if you need to disconnect from time to time, and means something else to carry.

But defining communication medium is only half of it. The next part of the challenge is to get the printer to print the label exactly how you want it with all images/bar codes etc. For a device to talk with a printer it has to do so via the printer interface. Each manufacture has their own printer language at this point. Zebra uses ZPL (Zebra Printer Language), Intermec Printers use IPL (Intermec Printer Language), and so on.

Print commands in each of these languages can be a bit of a challenge. Most printers also have a line print option, and depending on the software can essentially print a complete printer layout that resides on the PDA device. Whatever option the device must have the drivers locally installed to communicate with the printer.

New printers on the market can now accept .csv files and similar file via print management software tool, or can print directly from notepad. In some cases new printers can call and receive from a web service meaning a device may not even be required. Obviously this has very limited operations.

Finally if carrying an extra piece of kit is a big issue maybe a mobile printer is not required. Alternatives are IP printing back to a printer in to office, PDF generation and email, back office staff printing and posting documents, or online access only for customers.

Mobile Printing in Enterprise Mobility Applications 4 Things to Think About

  1. Start with the application. Does the customer need a printed “something” at the point of service?
  2. Media. What sort of material does the receipt or label need to be made of to suit the enviroment?
  3. Hardware. What sort of wireless mobile printer will suit the process?
  4. Mobile Application Development. How can you make your rugged handheld or rugged tablet pc generate the right label at the right time containing the correct information? On our platform the built in print layout designer takes a lot of the hassle out of cutting code.

How can we help you add Mobile Printing in Enterprise Mobility Applications ?

 

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Cloud Solution or Thick Client Platform 3G

Cloud solution or Thick Client Platform 3G

Android Smartphone
Android is gaining market share in Enterprise Mobility

Having defined the business requirements the next choice is deciding if the mobile application should run as a cloud solution or thick client platform 3G solution whilst considering the connectivity needed from device to server.

A cloud based thin client solution is an application accessed over a web browser. There is no application or data stored locally and all processing is performed on a central server just like a normal website. A thick client solution uses a locally installed application which sits on the device along with all data required. There are many pro’s and con’s with each and a number of questions need answering to decide which would suit. There is no ‘best’ option as all requirements are different.

Cost does play a factor in this for devices they will run on. Most people nowadays have a Smartphone, be it an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. These are all capable of running as a thin client. This means the business has no or little outlay for the devices if employees use their current units, BYOD. But tied to this comes issues with connectivity, speed of the application, and data costs. All major return on investment considerations.

If the application is used in areas of poor or no signal then a thin client solution would not be recommended. If there is no data connection a thin client application cannot work. A thick client would be recommended to enable the user to work offline as all the work orders would have been downloaded to the device over Wi-Fi or 3G prior to going on site.

A thick client can also connect to backend systems as standard to receive new work orders, send completed work orders back to a server, or request data in real-time. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘Smart Client’. Connecting to backend system when in the field depends on the quality of 3G signal. When the signal is good a thick client can synchronise data to receive an updated jobs list and send back all saved results.

A strong 3G signal or over Wi-Fi will mean a Thin client can access the web service easily and quickly, but should this drop out the user cannot continue. Some thin client services can download temporary data so the user can continue to use a thin client to a point. But beyond the temporary data the user is stuck. A poor signal results in a slow lagging thin client application. This can be very frustrating for the user.

Location is another factor to be taken into consideration – Where will the application be used specifically? If the application is required to check boilers or air-con units in basements and cellars then again it is very doubtful there will be any signal. Likewise if going to rural areas away from towns and cities.

In a lot of built up areas signal is now generally very good although congestion can be the real problem. This is very good news for thin clients. Likewise when working in Wi-Fi hotspots or buildings/warehouses with very good Wi-Fi coverage. This is still not to say in this instance a thick client should be discounted.

When in the mobile application development phase it is worth thinking about where data needs to be stored. As a rule .NET thick clients are generally much quicker than thin clients. As all data is stored locally all business logic is performed on the device rather than a web server. Granted if there is a vast amount of logic to calculate a PDA may be slightly slow. This is where a rugged tablet PC with a much faster processor i5 can be used in place.

3G data costs are another area to consider, especially if the users are providing their own devices. A thin client will use much more data than a thick client. This is because a thin client requests everything to be displayed whereas a thick client only requests new data and sends results. A thick client solution can even do away with 3G connection all together in some cases. All the jobs could be downloaded in the morning or day before over Wi-Fi, removing the need to request new jobs through the day.

The key question is: In the Cloud Solution or Thick Client Platform 3G debate without guaranteeing a connection over 3G or Wi-Fi is a Thin Client solution really sustainable?

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